Saturday, July 18, 2009


First there's the planning.
Before or after nap?
What to pack in the bag?
How much snack and water?
Reminders to layer; load up the minivan.

Then there's the drive.
Whoever said that it's all about the journey
didn't have kids.

Park in the shade, walk in, read the sign,
learn what to do if we encounter a mountain lion:

#5 "Do all you can to appear larger."

We act out just how that might be done.

#7 "Fight back if attacked."

We pick out good fighting sticks.

Begin our hike,
wait for a striped snake to cross.
Wonder if it's poisonous,
notice how much faster it goes in grass
than on the paved path,
talk about how it moves like a dragon
in the Chinese New Year's parade.

Wait and watch until it disappears into the trees.

Walk 15 minutes . . .
stop for snack,
complain about the snack,
remind them not to drink all of the water so soon.

Decide to head back on the upper trail.
we've had enough already.
The youngest has been screaming
Bee! Bee!
every time something that is not a bee
buzzes his ears.

Remind them to listen to nature . . .

. . .

The oldest announces
that her butt itches,
the middle thinks a mosquito
got into his pants
and is right next to his pickle
and points.

Remind him to call his parts by their real names.
Remind them all to look up at the Redwoods,
Whoa . . .

Back to trudging eyes down
with frequent warnings from them
about poop and poison ivy just ahead.

back on the main path,
our tiny hiking loop is almost closed.

Follow the momentum of Yellowtails
to the parking lot,
remind them not to bring nature in the minivan,
the sticks stay.

~j.b. rowell

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Anonymous Carter said...


1:14 PM, July 20, 2009  

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